Branding of the Rich and Famous

branding2cThe next time you throw down your headphones in frustration after a two-hour struggle with your latest identity project, it might give you some perspective if you take a look at the following.

It can be quite eye-opening to glimpse the often-humble business cards of the noteworthy. A tip of the PaperSpecs cap to Flavorwire for gathering together 20 of these curios, all of which got us to thinking about the interplay between “identity” and the individual.

branding1 A few consistencies jump out at you right away:

  • The higher you are in the world pecking order, the more conservative and bare bones your card. Those of former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Albert Einstein are masterpieces of understatement, with Barack Obama’s not far behind.
  • If your business is spectacle, show us some spectacle. Escape artist Harry Houdini’s triangular card is an extreme example, but cartoonist/animators Walt Disney and Chuck Jones show us exactly what they do. Meanwhile, Isaac Asimov, prolific writer of science fiction and educational books, simply bills himself as “natural resource.”


  • If you’re an iconoclast (or just a character), make it known. Andy Warhol does to the business card what he did to soup cans and other everyday objects, while Steve Martin plays up his gentle-jokester persona with a very unconventional card. And Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg lowercases his name, but reminds everyone of his geek-boy college roots with the slogan “I’m CEO, Bitch.”

branding3Most importantly… there are no masterpieces of design here; each card relies on the reputation and good will generated by the person or entity it represents.


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